Daily Design: Day 20

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on three randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Awesome, Hopeless and Observer.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Predators and Pray

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Predators and Pray is an asymmetrical multiplayer game, in which both players spend most of their time not playing. It’d probably be a lot of fun (according to me, the guy who hypothetically made it).

One player takes the role of the Holy Deity, and it’s their job to create life. At the beginning of a match, they’re given a randomly generated little planet (some may be entirely desert, some may be Earth-like, but all are inhabitable). From here, the Holy player can choose where to begin life – they’re given a certain amount of Life to spend (say, 5) and can choose where on the planet to spend it.

Once they’ve done so, life will slowly begin to take hold in those locations, eventually evolving into sentient beings. Life that evolves together will be more unified, and if they’re close enough will all evolve into the same kind of creature – life that evolves elsewhere will be different, but all creatures will become sentient around the same time.

The Holy player wins by attaining 100 Faith. Faith starts at 50, and is raised by having life worship you. Lifeforms that are healthy and happy will eventually construct temples, and then worshipers will begin to accumulate faith. Seems straightforward, right? That’s because the Sinful Deity hasn’t been explained.

The Sinful player wins when Faith reaches zero, or all life is extinguished. Faith is reduced by unhappy lifeforms, and the easiest way to make them unhappy is to kill all of them as horribly as possible. The Sinful player can generate disasters to destroy life, thus reducing their happiness (as being destroyed should).

The trick at the outset of a match is that both the Holy and Sinful player make their moves simultaneously before the game begins, and neither can see what the other has done. As such, the Holy player has to measure the risk versus the reward of bunching all of the initial life together, as while it would be more unified, there’s a chance of all or most of their lifeforms being destroyed immediately if the Sinful player gets a lucky hit with a disaster.

But what’s so bad about having life evolve separately? That comes down to another mechanic belonging to the Sinful player – Whispers. Whispers are a finite resource, and are only generated (slowly) by unhappy lifeforms. They can, however, be spent to incite war between two forms of life with a large gap between their levels of happiness.

These wars – as with most of Predators and Pray – are mostly automated. Based on how they evolve (which is based on their starting location), some nations will be naturally better at war than others, whereas others may build or drain faith at different rates, or do something different entirely.

While this idea needs a lot of work, I love the concept – two players literally playing god with the same planet, and trying to wrestle for supremacy without any real care about the little people running around, trying to live their strange little lives. While I don’t mean to criticize religion, it seems like a game that would inevitably be quite divisive, though I think it could be  a lot of fun with some work.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another Daily Design. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post or head over to the contact page. 

 

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